LINCROFT, NJ  – The Keep Achieving (Kach) at Brookdale program is a college experience for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD).  The program is a joint venture of Brookdale Community College and The Arc of Monmouth, and is partially funded through a grant from the Walmart Foundation.

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From left to right: (Front Row) Dance Professor Doreen Laperdon-Addison , Dance Club President Crystal Stephens Monsanto, Keep Achieving (Kach) at Brookdale Student Shannan Coomber and Kach Coordinator Allan Cohen. (Back Row) Associate Executive Director Kathleen Mullery, Director, Individual and Family Supports Sarah Logan and Peer Mentor Glynnis Tan.  Photo: B. Colby

On Saturday, May 5, Brookdale’s dance classes held their Spring Recital.  Shannan Coomber, a student in the Modern Dance II class and The Arc of Monmouth’s Kach program participated in the recital.  Shannan was joined by fellow Kach student James Smith, for one of her numbers, and was part of an ensemble in her other. 

Professor Doreen Laperdon-Addison, who instructs the dance classes at Brookdale and directed the recital, stated afterwards: “It was a pleasure having Shannon in class and watching her and Jimmy perform on Saturday.  Seeing Shannon and the joy she derives through dance is inspiring for everyone.”

Ms. Laperdon-Addison means what she says.  On Wednesday, May 23, Ms. Laperdon-Addison has presented a check to The Arc of Monmouth/Kach program.  The Dance Club, which uses their recitals to raise funds for the club, was so inspired by Shannan’s participation that they decided to donate those monies to The Arc of Monmouth in honor of her participation.

“Everyone at The Arc of Monmouth is extremely proud of Shannan, and we are forever grateful for the Dance Club’s generosity”, stated Kach Coordinator Allan Cohen.

The Arc of Monmouth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization annually serving more than 1,400 individuals with Down Syndrome, Autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities at 20 locations throughout the county.  To learn more, please call (732) 493-1919 or visit www.arcofmonmouth.org